Urban property prices have been rising at an eye-watering level during the pandemic, accelerating ideas of alternatives to homeownership for much of the younger generation.
In Sydney, the average house price rose by over $1000 every single day during the month of May. It’s a housing market like this, along with the pandemic making urban living far less attractive if you can’t enjoy all the benefits of the area, that has sparked a migration of urban dwellers to the coast or regional areas over the past few years
And why not, when you can get far more bang for your metropolitan buck? Well, it turns out, that may no longer be the case.
Property site Domain has run the figures and discovered that the tree or sea change ain’t what it used to be.
Their data shows that median house prices in dozens of regional areas are up by more than 20 per cent compared with the past 12 months, higher even than some capital cities.
Those thinking they can cash in on the rise in urban property prices and up sticks to somewhere cheaper might be in for a shock when they realise just how times have changed.
New South Wales
The median house price in Sydney now stands at $1.4 million meaning you will be able to get something pretty decent for that amount elsewhere, but not the palace you’re expecting.
Across the state, the average house price sits at around $786,000 meaning those with an apartment in Sydney could easily upgrade to a three-bed house in a regional area.
For that price, you could be looking at a renovated three-bedroom house with 500-square-metres of land in Bathurst or a renovated four-bedroom house with 800-square-metres in Tamworth. A four-bed with 1500-square metres would also go for around the same price as a Sydney apartment in Lismore.
At the upper end of the spectrum, you might be better off staying put. Dreams of upgrading in Byron Bay are likely just that as it is now the state’s most expensive market. The median price for a house in Byron stands at around $1.585 million while a four-bed in Ballina that requires renovation recently sold for just under $1.4 million.
In Jindabyne, a three-bed townhouse on 326-square metres recently sold for more than $1.3 million, as did a four bed in Orange and a three-bed in Kiama. All three regions have seen median house prices jump between 25% and 44% in the past 12 months, far outpacing Sydney.
Victoria is slightly better than its northern neighbour. The median price for a house in Melbourne is just over $1 million – up 16.2% on last year, or $455 per day – while the median house price in regional Victoria hit a high of just under $560,000 in July.
The median for a unit in the state capital is around $572,800 and for that money, you could get a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in places like Wodonga, Portland, Sale, and Ararat.
Regional areas in the most desirable postcodes however saw house prices rise by double-digit figures, with places like Geelong, Bendigo, and Ballarat climbing by close to 30%.
For average Melbourne house price money, you’d be struggling to buy a three or four-bed in some of those locations.
In Torquay, West Gippsland, and Ballarat, four-beds have recently sold for just over $1 million while the median asking price on the Surf Coast is roughly $1.2 million.
In Rye, on the Mornington Peninsula, asking prices of $800-900,000 are pretty much entry-level, with some three-beds now selling for just north of $1 mil.
The median house price in Brisbane sits at about $678,000 meaning that you’d be in with some strong purchasing power in regional areas like Mackay or Rockhampton, where three-four bedroom houses have recently sold for just under that.
Coastal parts of the sunshine state have seen similar booms in property prices, with Lake MacDonald, a tiny town in the Noosa Shire, seeing a surge in prices of 43% compared to last year.
Toowoomba, Charters Towers, Marcoola, and Sunshine Beach have seen similar growth making a house on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast go for $825,000 and $792,000. A two-bedroom Mermaid Beach unit recently sold for $670,000, as did a three-bedroom unit at Coolum Beach.
In Northern Queensland, you can get a five-bed with a pool and a view in places like Cairns for about what you would pay for a house in Brisbane. A two-bed townhouse in Port Douglas would similarly set you back about $660,000.
Perth has experienced similar growth, with house prices rising by about 12% year-on-year to a bit under $596,000.
If you wanted to purchase something in Busselton or Bunbury, you could get a four-bedroom house for a bit under that price with a bit of land and bush surroundings.
In Moresby, four and a half hours north of Perth, a four-bed house with two hectares of land and ocean views recently went for $600,000.
Broome has seen a sharp increase in prices compared to last year, with the median climbing more than 33%. A four-bed bungalow on 1200-square-metres recently went for a little north of $570,000.